BCAA’s (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) make up a large portion of the essential amino acids in humans. Dr. Wolf gives you the rundown on essential amino acids, and helps explain how they function in the body.
Watch LuckyVitamin’s Ask The ND series featuring Dr. Jeremy Wolf for healthy information, benefits and facts about popular nutritional supplements and wellness topics. These quick guides are great educational resources to learn about a variety of wellness-oriented topics from a trained Naturopathic Physician. View other videos from LuckyVitamin on our YouTube channel.
The old saying has an updated version. No pain, no gain is a thing of the past as many supplements can help you gain muscle and support muscle recovery at the same time. BCAA supplements are one of these great products known to help increase muscle mass, speed up recovery, and enhance athletic performance.
Short for Branched-Chain Amino Acids, BCAA are known as the building blocks of muscle mass. Research suggests that continue use of BCAA can help individuals not only to build muscle, but also burn fat, and increase athletic performance.
Considered one of the best post workout recovery products, BCAA supplements contain three essential amino acids which play an important role in protein synthesis: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. By taking BCAA’s, the breakdown of muscle, known as muscle catabolism, can be prevented quickly, especially for usage in high-volume cardio work.
The perfect supplement for endurance and strength training, BCAA has also the ability to prevent muscle loss at high altitudes and prolong endurance performance in the heat, a common condition for marathon or triathlon runners. A popular supplement in the bodybuilding and fitness community, BCAAs are useful for gaining mass and maintaining muscle mass even while on a calorie-deficit diet. BCAAs not only increase the rate of protein synthesis, but they also increase the cell’s capacity for protein synthesis.
Additionally, BCAAs might also help improve workout intensity as it competes with the amino acid tryptophan for entry into the brain, where Tryptophan can be converted to the neurotransmitter serotonin. During exercise, serotonin levels rise and can increase fatigue. BCAA supplementation reduces the amount of tryptophan that enters the brain, and therefore reduces the amount of serotonin produced.
NutraKey offers a unique line of sport nutrition supplements created to make life better. The company believes the best way to improve quality of life is through health and wellness and manufactures over 100 products with the highest quality ingredients which are free of harmful items. With raw, pure nutrition in every bottle, NutraKey products can help you build muscle, lose fat and promote athletic performance.
SatisFive is an advanced, multi-action blend with fibers plus thylakoids designed to promote fullness, reduce hunger and cravings, and help you achieve your weight-loss goals. The patented Appethyl green spinach extract contains thylakoids that bind to dietary fat to reduce the rate of fat digestion, increasing your body’s satiety signals and decreasing hunger signals. Plus, a root fiber called LuraLean creates a gel in the stomach that can bind dietary fat and carbohydrate and further help in weight management. Taken before a meal, SatisFive helps control appetite by promoting a feeling of fullness for up to five hours.
The long run is often the ultimate quest for runners as this challenging exercise is known to build endurance and strength as well as teach runners how to deal with fatigue and pain. Anything over 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) may be considered a long, resistance exercise and may take some preparation not only to do well and complete the run but also to prevent injuries. When preparing for long run workouts, people often ask themselves many questions regarding pre-race, during, and post-race tips. So, what’s really the best way to prepare for long runs, including half-marathons, 10 Ks, or just an hour jogging in the park?
Hydration is extremely important before any run or race. Hydrate well but as usual and drink according to your thirst. Consuming drinks with sodium will help stimulate thirst and retain fluids consumed. Avoid alcoholic beverages as they increase urine output and delay optimal rehydration. Don’t overdo it as over-hydration can lead to the need to urinate during the race, a very common problem for beginners.
Trying to determine how much food to take in before a long run can be complicated since everyone is different, have different fitness levels, different diets, etc. However, an easy, general rule is to consume approximately 0.5 grams of carbohydrate for every pound of body weight and then multiply that number by the number of hours prior to the start of your run. Choose light, easy to digest meals that will put fuel in your tank. For example, eat a high-carbohydrate, low-protein meal a few hours prior your longer runs, or a snack or nutritional bar for shorter runs.
During workout, your body needs hydration and, for the longer runs, carbs. An average of 30g to 60g of carbohydrate per hour of running is a good basic rule and sports drinks are an excellent way to hydrate and consume the glucose needed. For more extreme workouts, runners need to get a more high-octane fuel, essentially more concentrated, and often available in energy gels, blocks, beans, and chews. These sports nutrition products are engineered to supply needed carbohydrate, which fuels your muscles and keeps blood sugar levels steady, and electrolytes, which help retain fluids to maintain hydration, prevent cramping, and perform other functions in the body. Make sure to follow your high-octane fuel with water.
No secret here, after runs, carbohydrates. Choose quick-digesting forms of carbohydrate, such as sports drinks, to allow your body to replenish its stored carbohydrate in your muscles. Fruit, crackers and bread are great after-race meals. Within the first 30 to 60 minutes after the race, it is crucial to consume some protein to help repair all your worn and torn muscles. Low-fat chocolate milk contains a good combination of carbohydrate and protein to help you refuel. Protein energy bars are also a great choice.
A combination of both sports drinks and water is perfect during and after a run as it can replenish the sodium and potassium you lose through sweat, while giving your body some energy from carbohydrate. After the run, rehydrate with a sports drink first, then water.
Today, we focus on gifts for the fitness fanatics or for anyone who may want to start a New Year Resolution for a healthy, fit 2016. Finding a fitness gift may not be as easy as it sounds as you want to motivate your friends and family without actually saying: “it’s time to lose some weight”.
A gym membership is quite often a popular choice of holiday gift but keep in mind that if the recipient of your gift has never been to a gym, doesn’t like to go out of the house to workout at the gym, or have struggled in the past to use a gym frequently, chances are, this unfortunate trend will likely to continue.
Lucky Vitamin is happy to present another top quality brand of sport supplements to our customers: My Way Labs.
My Way Labs supplies athletes with sports nutrition products created with one primary goal: to ensure that each and every athlete trains like a god. We have selected the top 5 My Way Labs supplements to introduce to our customers.
Kratus: this amazing product delivers a God-Like burst of power and strength that will enhance your training. Kratus is a one-of-a-kind performance accelerator that contains the industry leading ingredients allowing for maximal muscle building, strength gains, vein popping pumps, everlasting endurance, and intense focus. Achieve insane energy and focus without jitters, gaining strength with creatine HCL + D-aspartic acid, and igniting a metabolic fat burning fire with citrus arantium.
Helius Burn: considered a number one fat burner for men and women, Helius Burn thermogenic effect can help increase body heat, cut fat, preserve muscle and provide energy. A safe and effective fat burner designed to give individuals the body they desire quicker.
Multivitamin: a good workout program requires a good Multivitamin and My Way Labs has the perfect one for you. With a specially formulated blend to give individuals all nutrients they miss with a regular diet, this multi contains all essential vitamins and is enhanced with amino acids to boost athletic performance.
My Whey Protein: a premium quality Non-GMO concentrate and isolate whey protein, My Whey was voted the best tasting chocolate and vanilla protein supplement in the market. A great post-workout drink, My Whey is enhanced with digestive enzymes for better absorption.
CLA Tone: this premium Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) product is an excellent choice to support a healthy body weight. Gluten-free, Non-GMO, and with no artificial ingredients, CLA Tone is derived from natural safflower oil and may help reduce stored fat, and preserve and boost muscle.
Lucky Vitamin is proud to introduce another top-quality brand of sport supplements to our customers: Elite Labs USA.
Elite Labs USA offers a superior line of products created with the knowledge of over 20 years of diverse experience in sports nutrition science. The company is fully devoted to developing and manufacturing only the highest quality sports supplements that exceed your expectations, every time.
Elite Labs USA is focused on cutting-edge innovation. The kind of innovation that takes a great idea and makes it greater. The kind of innovation that makes you say “Wow” every time you use it. Achieving that “Wow Factor” is the very reason this brand is committed to formulating products based on the latest scientific advancements that will reshape the very understanding of an athlete’s true physical potential. Every single Elite Labs USA product is founded on rock-solid, scientific data, and provides efficacious amounts of key ingredients clinically proven to work in real people, just like you.
Committed to elite quality, Elite Labs USA has the confidence that what is listed on the label is exactly what is inside the product. Nothing more, nothing less. With no hidden ingredients, no unwanted contaminants, and most importantly, no banned substances, every Elite Labs USA product is manufactured in a cGMP certified facility using current Good Manufacturing Practices, with state-of-the-art, sophisticated equipment verifying for accuracy, purity and potency of every ingredient.
You don’t have to be an elite or professional level athlete, bodybuilder, or power lifter to use Elite Labs USA formulas but if that’s the level of performance you’re striving to achieve, let Elite Labs USA products help take you there.
Whey protein supplements are considered one of the best sources of protein for muscle building and fat burning. The reason behind its success is that whey protein has one of the best protein ratings in terms of amino acid composition and digestibility. Whey contains essential and branched-chain amino acids which may help raising the amount of amino acids available in your body for the muscle growth process, also known as muscle protein synthesis.
However, some people may find it a little bit complicated to choose and buy the right whey supplement so often recommend by nutritionists and fitness trainers. Some products are labeled whey isolates while others are whey concentrate. What is the difference? Which one is better?
The main nutritional difference between whey concentrate protein and its whey isolate protein is the amount of protein, lactose and fat present. For example, a whey concentrate protein powder contains in average around 12% of protein, 70% of lactose and roughly 1.5% of milk fat. On the other hand, whey protein isolate products contain over 90% protein, less than 1% of lactose and just 0.5% of milk fat. So, the next question is: how does that happen?
Whey protein isolate is created by filtering whey protein through a micro filter to remove the lactose and ash in the product. This unique process creates a product that is much higher in protein than a regular whey protein and is also rich in immunoglobulins, alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoalbumin, and other immune boosting factors. As a result of the nature of whey, the purification process is a low-heat, spray-dry method that does not use any solvents, ensuring that the final result is a natural and chemical-free product.
Whey is derived from milk and made up of a combination of protein, lactose, and minerals. Not just for body builders, whey contains all nine amino acids and is easy to digest. Most usually think of whey as a supplement for getting lean and fit, but most people don’t realize that its benefits go way beyond the gym!
Lose Fat & Gain Muscle – When added to a healthy diet and exercise regime, replacing carbohydrate snacks with whey protein helps shed weight and fat at a higher rate. Whey contains leucine, which contributes to protein synthesis and burns calories quicker. This amino acids also aid muscle building and growth, too!
Lower Blood Sugar – Post-meal blood sugar spikes can clear a path for diabetes to take root. Researchers from Tel Aviv University found that whey protein shakes can help prevent the blood sugar fluctuations that are common after larger meals.
Feel Full Longer – A research study in Australia focused on 28 obese men who were asked to consume four different drinks. Those who consumed the beverage containing 50 grams of whey had significantly reduced levels of ghrelin (a hormone that tells your brain you’re hungry) up to four hours later.
Prevent Muscle Loss About 30% of people 60 and over are afflicted sarcopenia, an age-related muscle deterioration disease that increases the risk of falls and disability. Consuming whey protein helps combat this affliction by minimizing body protein loss during the aging process.
Cancer Prevention – Studies in animals have demonstrated that, when compared with other dietary proteins, whey is more effective at battling cancer and hindering its development. This is attributed to whey’s high content of cystine/cysteineand gamma-glutamylcysteine dipeptides, which helps raise the body’s glutathione levels. This amino acid detoxifies carcinogens and ensures a competent immune system!
With already an extensive selection of sport nutrition products and protein supplements, Lucky Vitamin is happy to announce the introduction of another premium brand to our customers: Rule One Protein.
Rule One Protein offers one of the best line of supplements made for athletes, bodybuilders, cross-fitters and powerlifters. Designed and developed by guys who’ve lifted a few million lbs. and downed a few thousand scoops of protein, this unique line of pro-supplements is the result of the work of supplement pros who’ve done this before. Guys who know the difference between the good stuff and the over-hyped wannabes.
The Rule One Proteins executive team combines over 100 years of development and formulation experience, offering a unique combination of skills and experience, but most of all, an unmatched passion for the sports nutrition industry. You can rest assured knowing that any product produced by Rule One Proteins contains only the finest raw materials, ingredients available and that their creed of “the best input = the best output” is always on their minds.
Rule One Protein is fully dedicated to bring you the best formulated and manufactured protein powders and nutrition supplements in the world. All products are produced by Nutrivo, LLC. Nutrivo’s facility, located in Aurora, IL, in a brand new state-of-the-art GMP/NSF-certified facility. Utilizing the latest quality blending, measuring and packaging equipment available, Rule One Protein formulates products with only ingredients which passes the company’s stringent standards for safety, quality and efficacy.
Amino acids are both vital to health and serve as one of the building blocks of protein. Of the 20 amino acids our bodies are unable to produce nine of them on its own. These nine are commonly grouped together and referred to as the essential amino acids.
They are (alphabetical order):
Builds Cells & Repairs Tissue – The body uses glutamine, the most abundant amino acid, as a vital source of energy in response to external stress. In addition, glutamine is the primary fuel source for rapidly dividing cells and repairing tissue cells with its potent antioxidant properties.
Assists with Wound Healing – Did you know that you can speed the wound healing process with amino acids? Arginine (another amino) levels plummet after the body experiences a major trauma or sustains a heavy, serious wound. Large doses of arginine have been shown to increase tissue collagen content, which helps aid the healing process.
Increases Athletic Performance –Athletes and bodybuilders will already know how detrimental caloric depravation is to reaching their fitness goals, but what they might not know is how certain amino acids can help them get back on track. To prevent muscle loss, it’s best to supplement with one of the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine and valine.
Provides Efficient Protein Uptake — A lack of amino acids and protein can lead to protein-energy-malnutrition, or PEM. This occurs in parts of the world where malnourishment runs rampant and what little food is available does not supply the amino acids that the body needs. Severe PEM, also known as kwashiorkor, can cause liver deterioration, anemia and skin inflammation
Imagine if your body had a secret pack of tiny ninjas that it could unleash on anything that threatened its sense of balance and well-being. Work got you stressed out? There’s a ninja for that. Feel a cold coming on? There’s a ninja for that. Feeling exhausted because you stayed up too late watching Netflix? There’s a ninja for that. Mother-in-law on her way into town? There’s a ninja for that too!
When you ingest adaptogenic herbs, it’s like you’re arming your body with a pack of super awesome mini ninjas. Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help your body deal with stress. Whether that stress is physical, mental, or emotional, they hold the power to support and balance your system, whatever that may mean for you. How neat is that?
Below are four fascinating adaptogens that we’ve included in Skoop A-Game Plant-based Greens Blend. These adaptogens are perhaps our favorite part of this super greens blend. When taken daily, the steady stream of adaptogens in your system sets you up to deal with life in a more energized, balanced, positive way. The stressors may still be there, but your response to them can improve, and the negative physiological consequences of stress can be diminished.
Astralagus is an herb, the root of which has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It helps your immune system function optimally and increases overall vitality. And get this–one of the many ways it accomplishes this is by increasing the activity level of Natural Killer cells–yes, this is an actual scientific term. (The ninja metaphor doesn’t seem so outlandish now, does it?) Natural Killer cells are able to bind to stressed cells or virus-infected cells, and essentially assassinate them on a cellular level.†
Here’s yet another bizarre but true fact: cordyceps is a fungus that grows on the back of a species of Chinese caterpillars. (Our particular cordyceps is cultivated using oats, without the use of caterpillars.) Can you imagine being the first person to try ingesting this stuff? Who knows how or why that came about. But we’re grateful to that adventurous soul, because this natural compound has the power to combat fatigue, increase resistance to stress, support aerobic capacity, and even, ehem, help things along in the bedroom.†
Reishi is a mushroom that prefers to grow out of the Japanese plum tree, but will settle for an oak tree in a pinch. This power mushroom has serious immune system-boosting effects that go way beyond just fighting off a case of the sniffles. It may even play a role in slowing down the aging process. And like so many of its adaptogenic cousins, its fatigue-busting properties can’t be beat.†
Rhodiola is a flowering plant that grows at high altitudes in Eastern Europe and Asia. This super-herb fights depression and fatigue and enhances mental clarity. It also boosts stress resistance in two different ways. Rhodiola can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol by supporting and balancing the system (the HPA axis) in our bodies that produces cortisol. It may also enhance the neurological mechanisms of dealing with stress.†
All of these adaptogenic herbs have more benefits than we can list here. Although they’ve been used safely and effectively for thousands of years within Chinese medicine, the western world is just at the tip of the iceberg in terms of utilising these astoundingly powerful natural remedies. If you’re looking for a positive boost, give Skoop A-Game a try and learn what it means to get your super on.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
We might not look it, but as a nation, we’re starving. We’ve got plenty of food. Or at least we’ve got plenty of stuff that passes for it. But when it comes to nutrition, we’re all hungry for a solution. We created Healthy Skoop to be part of the solution. We’re on a mission to bring plant-based nutrition to every American, and our superfood blends and protein powders are a convenient way to make sure you are giving your body what it needs every day.
But perhaps the coolest part about getting your Skoop on is that you’re not just doing a good thing for yourself–you’re doing a good thing for the future health of the country. That’s right. Positive change is baked into each and every batch of Skoop. Allow us to explain…
Our school lunch programs are struggling–there are too many schools out there that have to count french fries and ketchup as vegetables in order to meet FDA requirements. There are kids out there that think leafy greens are just for feeding their pet rabbits. This generation of kids is the first generation in the history of America that may have a shorter average lifespan than the one preceding it–and that is seriously not okay.
That’s why we partnered with the Chef Ann Foundation to create Project Produce. The Chef Ann Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to providing tools to enable schools to progress from serving highly processed, unhealthy food to serving fresh scratch-cooked food. Project Produce is a joint effort between Healthy Skoop and Chef Ann Foundation to provide grants for fresh fruits and veggies to schools across the country.
Schools who qualify for the grants use the money to purchase fresh fruits and veggies for the kids to sample and educate the kids about healthy eating in fun, creative ways. Seriously–these veggie parties are fun-Think veggie costume contests, smoothie bar mob scenes, and highly-vegucated 6th graders teaching the younger kids what’s what. We know because we go to many and enjoy interacting with the kids, sampling veggies, and talking about nutrition.
We’ve pledged to give 3% of our total revenue to Project Produce. So far, in 2015 alone, we’ve already been able to help out over 20 schools across the country. That’s over 8700 kids who were given the chance to learn about healthy eating habits that will impact the rest of their lives. #SkoopOn!
To learn more about Project Produce, please visit https://healthyskoop.com/project-produce. To support Project Produce by buying Healthy Skoop, check out Lucky Vitamin’s selection of our products here: http://www.luckyvitamin.com/m-6374-skoop
If you’re an educator and/or involved in school food service and would like to apply for a grant, please visit http://www.chefannfoundation.org/programs/project-produce.
Whether you’re at the gym or reading fitness magazines, you’ve probably seen articles that advocate the importance of animal-based protein. Proponents of animal proteins argue that it boasts the highest numeric value of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Of course, quantity does not necessarily mean quality. Plant-based proteins may sound like an oxymoron but they definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. When comparing proteins it’s important to consider what energy goes into metabolizing animal proteins and how much your body actually absorbs.
We all know the importance of making sure our meat is properly heated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees before eating it. But most people don’t realize that doing so comes at a price, mainly in the form of “denaturation” – a process that great diminishes the animal’s protein makeup. For example, a 3-ounce serving of uncooked skinless chicken breast provides 29 grams of protein, but the same amount of COOKED chicken winds up only containing around 15 grams. Fortunately there are alternatives to traditional meat-based options that pack a just as powerful protein punch. And they “crop” up in some of the most unlikely places.
Plants – yes, plants – can offer a surprising amount of healthy proteins that are easily absorbed and far easier on your liver and digestive system. Plant-based proteins are free of antibiotics and hormones and are better for the environment. Black, kidney and pinto beans, almonds, lentils, hemp seeds, spirulina, quinoa, spinach and broccoli are just some of the most protein-dense plants out there.
Of course, we’re not suggesting that you put your love of steaks out to pasture or 86 omelets from your Sunday brunch routine. Just keep in mind that there’s a world of sneaky, under-the-radar plant-based protein powerhouses at your disposal.
Lucky Vitamin is happy to introduce a revolutionary product to our customers: GR3EN.
GR3EN is a one-of-kind energy drink loaded with superfoods to provide you the energy boost you need every day. Created by organic farmers from Hawaii, who believe in empowering people with positive energy from a handful of ingredients that you can pronounce, GR3EN is produced with organic ingredients with no cutting corners or compromising quality by using artificial fillers, sweeteners, fake flavors or stimulants.
GR3EN organic energy drink raises the bar with an organic dream team of wonderful ingredients: green tea, coconut water, guarana, and kale. GR3EN is pure, organic and powerful and is the perfect pick-me-up when you first wake up, need a lift, hit the gym, or hit the wall at work. GR3EN has the amount of caffeine equivalent of a cup of coffee but combines the health benefits of coconut water, green tea and kale juice, all in one can.
This 3 in 1 (hydration, energy and wellness) revolutionary product is 100% organic, gluten free, Non-GMO, vegan and contain no synthetic stimulants or artificial flavors. Each can has 150 mg of organic plant-based caffeine but it does not contain “iffy” ingredients found in most mainstream “Energy Drink” products and workout drinks such as taurine and synthetic B vitamins.
GR3EN roots are truly green as the company started as organic farmers growing super greens on rooftops. They proudly made history by installing the first certified organic food-producing green roof in the world through their parent company, FarmRoof. Today, GR3EN wants to spread organic farming through donations funded by sales of GR3EN Organic Energy.